Tag Archives: RV Trip Wizard

November 2012 Newsletter: Which Tablet to Buy?, RV Trip Wizard, MovieMaker

Geeks on Tour

Vacation November

November started off with one of our big rallies – the Good Sam Rally in Daytona.  Welcome to over 75 new members that signed up in Daytona!  We taught 2 hands-on classes and 8 different seminars.  Then we were off for a much anticipated vacation to the scuba diving dream island of Cozumel, Mexico.  We had a wonderful time and came back rested, refreshed and ready to take the grandkids to Disney World in the motorhome.  Fort Wilderness makes that a delight!  Park the RV and and take Disney transportation from there.  We highly recommend it!


Calendar: Coming up in December/January

For more details, see our website Calendar.

 


New Picasa Tutorial Videos

Have you looked at our Learning Library in the Picasa section lately?  Wow! There are so many tutorial videos, it would take you nearly 10 hours to watch them all.  Most of them are listed individually, but the list has gotten so long that I’ve decided in my latest videos to group them. 

The first group was for learning how to make Collages.  It’s called ‘Picasa Short Course: Collages and Banners.  In addition to 9 videos, there is written instructions and a printable cheat sheet.  The latest short course is Picasa Short Course on Organizing your Pictures.  It’s not quite finished yet, you’ll find 5 new videos right now, 3 more to come. Check it out and let us know what you think.


Forum Topics

The Q&A Forums on the Geeks on Tour website are a great place to discuss the topics we cover.  This is where we answer our members’ questions.  Anyone can read the forums, you need to be a member to post.   Here are some topics of interest:

  1. Changing the Name of a Blog
  2. Picasa Panorama
  3. Viewing photos from external hard drive
  4. How to locate duplicate photos easily?
  5. Saving an Edited Picasa Picture

RV LED Lighting

There’s more to technology than computers and smartphones!  All the rage in lighting these days is LED lighting.  Brighter, less heat, more efficient, these lights are perfect for RVs.

But, they’re also a bit pricey, the more you understand about them, the better choices you will make.  Our friends at TechnoRV have written a Buyer’s Guide to RV LED Lighting.

Check it out by following this link: TechnoRV Buyer’s Guide


News for RVers

Read about what town is issuing citations to oust RVs from their city, and what other town is inviting RVers to brand new city RV Park.  Also read about what companies are coming out with hot new products for RVers as well as what RV part Police say is a hot target for thieves.

Read these news items and more at the current issue of RVTravel’s Newsletter.


Tablet Computers … Which One to Buy?

tablet-shoppingA Tablet computer seems to be on everyone’s gift list this Christmas and the choices are overwhelming.  From generic, discount house Android tablets for $73 (not recommended) to fully loaded iPad with Retina display for $829.  If someone in your life has asked for a tablet, what do you do?  If they tell you exactly the type of Tablet they want, then you can just use the web and Google to shop.  Click on the image at right and it will take you to a Google search for shopping for tablets.  There’s no way we can compare them all, we can only tell you what we have and why.  But first, let’s talk about Tablets in general.

Continue reading the Article …


RV Trip Wizard for Planning your RV Travels

rvtripwizardWe spend a fair amount of time using our computers for planning our travels and are always on the lookout for tools that will help the process.  The latest one that has caught our attention is RVTripWizard.com.  It is completely web-based.  There is nothing to download to your computer.  You must have an Internet connection, and then you can use any device with a web-browser.  I’ve tried it on our Nexus 7 tablet and on our iPad.  It works, but it’s a lot easier on the computer, just like most websites.

Notice, in the image below, that the maps come from Google Maps, so we already know how to navigate around that part of the screen.  It even includes the Street View ‘Peg Man.’  Also notice the yellow highlighting I added to the left side of the screenshot.

Continue reading the Article …


Using MovieMaker for your Slideshows and Videos

How many of you have a camera that takes video.  A bunch, right?  Now, how many of you ever put that video together with pictures and music and made a movie that you can enjoy showing to others?  Not so many, huh?

Let’s give it another shot OK?  Windows MovieMaker 2012 is really quite simple if you take it slow.  Don’t try to import 2 hours of video and edit it down to a 5 minute movie right away.  Start by learning how to do slide shows with your pictures.  Windows MovieMaker is a free program from Microsoft, it is part of what was called Windows Live Essentials,

Continue Reading the Article …


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RV Trip Wizard for Planning your RV Travels

We spend a fair amount of time using our computers for planning our travels and are always on the lookout for tools that will help the process.  The latest one that has caught our attention is RVTripWizard.com.  It is completely web-based.  There is nothing to download to your computer.  You must have an Internet connection, and then you can use any device with a web-browser.  I’ve tried it on our Nexus 7 tablet and on our iPad.  It works, but it’s a lot easier on the computer, just like most websites.

Notice, in the image below, that the maps come from Google Maps, so we already know how to navigate around that part of the screen.  It even includes the Street View ‘Peg Man.’  Also notice the yellow highlighting I added to the left side of the screenshot.  That area contains the details on each stop along the way – what has me so excited is that the stop list includes the date that you will arrive.  This is not a feature that everyone cares about, but we sure do.  Our travels revolve around being at rallies on specific dates and we have yet to find any other trip planning software that includes this logical information!

rvtripwizard-screen

Features  we like:

  1. Campgrounds show up as icons on your map – you don’t have to search.  As you zoom in to an area, more icons appear.  If you have entered your preferences into the program, then your preferred campgrounds will appear with their custom logo.  So, you will see at a glance if there is a park in your membership system near your route.  Here is a sampling of the preferences you can specify:
    campgrounds
  2. You can create, and save, as many trips as you like.  They will stay online as part of your account for as long as you have an account.  This makes it easy to look up a past trip and see where you stayed.  You can even write notes about the campground, the site, the local area – whatever you want.
  3. In addition to the dates (our favorite feature!) the program calculates miles and costs for each segment based on your settings.  You can also manually enter costs, so this can be an accurate report of your expenditures for any given trip.
  4. Printing: It’s so nice to have an overview of your trip to pin to a bulletin board, or tape to the refrigerator.  RV Trip Wizard prints out a nice map and listing of all your stops with the miles, number of nights, and DATES!  It does not include turn by turn directions.  That’s fine by me – I just want the one page overview.  We’ll still be using GPS Navigation to get there.
  5. Saving: the system saves your work after each thing you do.  There is no need to save – it’s already done.  Which is a good thing because if you leave the RV Trip Wizard screen idle for a while, it times out and goes back to a blank map.  No problem, just open your existing – saved- trip.

Features that Needs Improvement

  1. GPS – this is not a GPS navigation program.  It is a trip planning program.  That’s OK, it’s a really nice planning tool and we have plenty of other navigation tools. My request is that it integrate completely with Google Maps.  I’d like to see this same set of marked points on My Maps in Google.  So, let me enter my Google account username and password and find a way to take the marked stops from RV Trip Wizard and save them as a map in My places.  That would be AWESOME – since My Maps is also on my Android smartphone and tablet.  See last month’s article: Google Maps from the Web to your Smartphone.  RV Trip Wizard has a form for suggestions – I think I’ll fill it out with that one!  They do have a ‘Send to GPS’ button where you can download a .csv file of all your stops and import that into Garmin devices using the POI Loader.
  2. Saving to your computer – I’m not sure if there is a way to do this but I don’t see any.  This is strictly web-based, I see no way to archive your trips to your computer for any kind of future reference.  I assume whenever you cancel your membership, then your trips will disappear.
    March, 2014 update: I now see there is a feature for “Print to Excel.”  This solves my issue perfectly.  The resulting Excel file keeps all my trip data, destination, arrival date, departure, travel miles, cost, and latitude/longitude of the planned stops.  

We’ll keep putting RV Trip Wizard thru it’s paces and get back to you in a couple months with what we’ve learned.

RV Trip Wizard costs $37/year.  They give you a 2 week Free Trial before any fees are charged.  For more info see the RVTripWizard users Guide.  If you try it, let us know what you think in the comments below.